Maria Kuptsova

Maria Kuptsova is an artist and architect. In her practice she creates cyborganic objects, biophilic sculptures, synthetic materials, biotechnological landscapes, living architectures, bio-digital drawings, hybrid interfaces, bio-electric compositions, audio-visual performances, artistic texts and research studies.



Cyborganic Living, AD Architectural Design, Machine Hallucinations: Architecture and Artificial Intelligence

As a part of AD Architectural Design, Machine Hallucinations: Architecture and Artificial Intelligence, eNeil Leach, the Cyborganic Living article written by Maria Kuptsova presents new ways to design landscapes that are a rich mix of biological processes and computational algorithms and tools, she generates what she calls ‘cyborganic’ or ‘bio-machinic’ architectural languages.

Ecological agency of an aesthetic form

We live in the times of naturalisation of technology and technologisation of nature.The proliferation of artificial intelligence and synthetic biology introduces a change in the computational environment and a transformation of ideological, ethical and aesthetic conditions, developing notions of the post-digital and post-natural. New computational medium involves both technological and natural systems in its processes while capable of calculating complex bio-digital patterns and hyper-resolution grids indexing massive amounts of data. Anthropologist and cybernetician Gregory Batesonstates that patterns are analog computational models which connect us to an ecosystem we live in and could be considered as a form of ‘extended mind’ (1). The aesthetic perception allows human to read and decode these patterns and engage into a ‘metaconversation’ (2) with the non-human.

Arbor. DeepGreen, Biodesign in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

As a part of DeepGreen, Biodesign in the Age of Artificial Intelligence book by Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto, this paper presents ARBOR project  - a cyborganic living object, bio-artificially grown by the means of intelligent technologies.The paper presents an approach for reading the intelligence of an organic material by the means of machine learning algorithms in order to contextualise it in a form of bio-technological system 

Woods, Fungi and Machines

Woods, Fungi and Machines text discusses a huge potential for the emergence of new design methods arising from the advancements in fields of bio-fabrication and bio-computation. It presents two projects that explore in depth the possibility of design as a collaborative system between different forms of intelligence, focusing primarily on the possibility of integrating biological behaviour into an artificial system. The Arbor and Hyph projects explore design scenarios in which data about biological material is extracted from a living system, processed by machinic algorithmsand reintegrated into synthetic matter.


Synthetic Landscape – The territorial dimension of bio-digital design

In the last decade, the proliferation of machine learning, the adoption of multi-scalar robotization protocols, the progress in genetic engineering and synthetic biology, all have conjured the evolution of novel synthetic fabrication strategies in architecture. These are now actualizing cybernertic design methods and embedding bio-computational intelligence which changes our understanding of the relationship between the human and the machinic bodies as well as the relationship between the architectural and the natural landscape. This paper presents a novel theoretical approach, discussing the aesthetical dimension in cybernetic design. The following paragraphs illustrate how bio-computational aesthetics are now being deployed to re-define architecture’s design strategies.

Electrochemical Characterisation of Bio-Bottle-Voltaic (BBV) Systems Operated with Algae and Built with Recycled Materials

Photobioelectrochemical systems are an emerging possibility for renewable energy. By exploiting photosynthesis, they transform the energy of light into electricity. This study evaluates a simple, scalable bioelectrochemical system built from recycled plastic bottles, equipped with an anode made from recycled aluminum, and operated with the green alga Chlorella sorokiniana. We tested whether such a system, referred to as a bio-bottle-voltaic (BBV) device, could operate outdoors for a prolonged time period of 35 days. Electrochemical characterisation was conducted by measuring the drop in potential between the anode and the cathode, and this value was used to calculate the rate of charge accumulation. The BBV systems were initially able to deliver ~500 mC·bottle−1·day−1, which increased throughout the experimental run to a maximum of ~2000 mC·bottle−1·day−1. The electrical output was consistently and significantly higher than that of the abiotic BBV system operated without algal cells (~100 mC·bottle−1·day−1). The analysis of the rate of algal biomass accumulation supported the hypothesis that harvesting a proportion of electrons from the algal cells does not significantly perturb the rate of algal growth. Our finding demonstrates that bioelectrochemical systems can be built using recycled components. Prototypes of these systems have been displayed in public events; they could serve as educational toolkits in schools and could also offer a solution for powering low-energy devices off-grid.


Maria Kuptsova is an artist and architect. She is a PhD candidate at the Synthetic Landscape Lab, University of Innsbruck. In her practice, Maria creates cyborganic objects, synthetic materials, biotechnological landscapes, bio-digital drawings, hybrid interfaces, bio-electric compositions and audio-visual performances. Maria is the winner of the Sergey Kuryokhin Prize 2022 in the category "Science Art", participant of exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou (Paris), TAB Tallinn Architectural Biennale (Tallinn), Future Cities Festival (St. Petersburg/Moscow), LLUMBCN Festival (Barcelona), AUT (Innsbruck), Kulturtanstelle (Linz), Hyundai Motor Studio (Busan), CYFEST 15 International Media Art Festival (Yerevan), among others.
Maria developed her interest in biocomputation while conducting her studies, as well as teaching and working at IAAC in Barcelona. This experience is reflected in her independent artistic practice, as well as research and academic experience at the University of Innsbruck (Innsbruck, Austria), the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain) the Bartlett School of Architecture (London, UK), Digital Future Colloquium (International), among other institutions. Currently Maria is based in Austria, where she runs her artistic and research practice.